Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A Week of Pizza..... The Best of the Best

This week has been all about pizza.  Well - the sauce anyway. 

I have found the most perfect dough recipe.  I like a full-bodied thick crust and this dough is exactly what I love.  Lots of people I know prefer a thin crust.  But I prefer it thick. 

I think pizza is a combination of all the elements, the crust, the sauce, and the toppings.  I am a straight-forward cheese girl.  I DO like other toppings, but I could eat a cheese pizza every single day and be happy.

Thursday night, my Parental Units came for an overnight visit.  Generally, I pick some new recipe and prep it for their visit.  But when I spoke to my Dad and asked him what he thought he'd like to have, he turned around and said.  Pizza.  From the box.  And he would take care of making it.  Yay me!

Now.  I know you're probably freaking out and saying "Ew.  Pizza from the BOX?!?!?!"  But trust me, if you've never tried it, you absolutely cannot turn your nose up at it.  There is a reason that the grocery store has stocked this particular item for longer than I've been alive.  The dough does leave something to be desired, but the sauce and the spice packet that are included in the box are postively delightful and absolutely make the pizza complete.  When I was a little girl and my Mom worked late, my Dad, brother and I would stand together at the kitchen counter and make this pizza.  My brother and I would fight about the toppings - even though he would get one side and I would get the other.  Second to none, whenever this item comes home in my grocery bags, my mind turns to my Dad and I think about him.  As it turns out, when my Dad was much younger, he would make this for my Grandma on Friday nights so they could spend time together.  I think that endeared this product to me a little more.

Since I have a thing about making stuff from scratch - and I have a thing about trying different recipes until I find that one that is just right (more on that another time) - I went on to try 5 different sauces and figure out which one was best in my book. 

I made my dough and split it into three parts (how in the world am I going to eat 5 huge pizzas? But an individual size - sure).  Just FYI.  The dough rose perfectly and I saran-wrapped and refrigerated the other two pieces before their second rise started.
It turned out alright I think - I'm not sure if I'd do that very often.  I've read that refrigerating pizza dough improves the taste and whatnot - but I'm not necessarily convinced it makes that much difference.

"Easy Pizza Sauce"
The first sauce I tried was "Easy Pizza Sauce", with four ingredients.  15oz jar of tomato sauce, 6 oz can of tomato paste, garlic, and a whole bunch of oregano.  I made it and let it sit overnight.  Easy to throw together in a pinch.

My thoughts on the sauce?  Thick, tomatoey - not bad - but lacked something, some punch, some scent or flavour to make it really good.  Next please.

"Exquisite Pizza Sauce"
Sweet and spicy - this actually turned out very well.  It is definitely a contender for my favorite sauce recipe.  It was easy to make - I like the idea of not having to cook anything... 

 "Pizza Sauce & Dough"
Okay - I didn't make the dough, but I did make the sauce.  I admit, I'm somewhat hesitant about the can of whole tomatoes that were supposed to be "crushed".  I don't like a chunky sauce - that's what the toppings are for.  But - ya gotta try a little bit of everything I suppose.  I will admit - I thought it smelled like Marinara sauce.  But it smelled quite divine while it was cooking.  Yum.  The recipe calls for fresh basil and oregano - however - I live in Canada.  I have to cheat sometimes or pay exhorbitant amounts of money for fresh herbs.  I have a hard time with this at the best of times. 

I was only somewhat impressed, but definitely would puree the tomatoes if I made it again.

"Mike's Homemade Pizza"
This recipe is for both a dough and a sauce, but since I've already found the perfect dough recipe, I only made the sauce.  The truth is - I didn't really like it.  I'm not sure why...  I definitely wouldn't make it again.  Too bad.

And the last....

"Pizza Hut Pizza Sauce" - Clone by Todd Wilbur
I wasn't sure about this one - but it's actually pretty good!  Easy and yummy!  Tomato sauce, water, spices, etc.  Easy to throw together and not a lot of effort - I like that.

I most definitely have a top two.  The Todd Wilbur Sauce and the Exquisite Pizza Sauce....  I think at some point in the future I'll make them again and pick one for sure.

Kind of anti-climactic, I know.  Grrrr.  I think that my tastebuds might be dulled from all the tomato sauces - they're all starting to taste the same. 

This is the Cane Girl - signing off.

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